It’s A Grind, Again

Little Italy coffee house re-opens after arrest, suicide of former owner

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Little Italy’s It’s A Grind Coffee House has quietly re-opened. The chain store had been closed for about two months, following the shocking arrest of franchise owner Thomas James Parker. The Tierrasanta businessman was accused of assaulting seven San Diego women over the past year.

After his high-profile arrest, Parker, 39, committed suicide in his jail cell by hanging himself with a sheet.

Angelica Andrews worked at the coffeehouse for six to seven months before the closure, and is now back on the job. “There’s honestly nothing else to say except we were all extremely shocked,” says Andrews.

She says business is slowly picking back up. “Slowly, business is coming back,” says Andrews. “We have a lot of regulars that are excited we’re back open…Sure, we get some people asking questions about what happened, but, it is what it is.”

It’s A Grind is a national chain of coffeehouses, with hundreds of locations around the country, including five in San Diego. The Long Beach-based company was founded in 1994 by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Marty Cox and Louise Montgomery.

A spokesperson for It’s A Grind could not be reached for comment. Andrews says the Little Italy location is currently corporate-run by the founder’s brother, Jerry Cox. Several employees are under the impression the company is currently looking for a new franchise owner.

Parker was arrested in early July after allegedly trying to attack a Mission Valley woman in the garage of her home. She fought back, Parker tried to leave the scene and an off-duty Border Patrol agent helped capture him. Before the alleged attack, most of Parker’s victims had been young Asian women.

Ron Donoho is a regular contributor to, editorial director of “Pacific SD” magazine and a contributing editor to His Web site ( is dedicated to news, sports, culture, happy hours and all things downtown.

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